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FAQ for
Brick (2005) More at IMDbPro »

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The book Brendan is seen reading when waiting for Emily to appear was supposed to be William Goldings Lord of the Flies, but due to a clearance issue using that cover, the actual book in the scene is a disguised copy of As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner.

You can access the original novella, as well as the script, via the following link...

http://www.rcjohnso.com/BrickScript.html

It's called 'The Sun, Whose Rays Are All Ablaze', written by W. S. Gilbert, from the comic opera 'The Mikado'. Lyrics below...

The sun, whose rays Are all ablaze With ever-living glory, Does not deny His majesty He scorns to tell a story! He don't exclaim, "I blush for shame, So kindly be indulgent." But, fierce and bold, In fiery gold, He glories all effulgent! I mean to rule the earth, As he the sky We really know our worth, The sun and I! I mean to rule the earth, As he the sky We really know our worth, The sun and I! Observe his flame, That placid dame, The moon's Celestial Highness; There's not a trace Upon her face Of diffidence or shyness: She borrows light That, through the night, Mankind may all acclaim her! And, truth to tell, She lights up well, So I, for one, don't blame her! Ah, pray make no mistake, We are not shy; We're very wide awake, The moon and I! Ah, pray make no mistake, We are not shy; We're very wide awake, The moon and I!

Laura's version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4A_JY76-vM

A traditional recital of The Mikado http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0YdJsX25ME

Slang List

Blow - To leave, depart; e.g., "Did she blow last night?"

Brick - A term used to describe a pound or kilogram of any drug; in the case of this film, it's heroin.

Bulls - Cops; e.g., "What first, tip the bulls?" Also, as a verb, to turn over to the cops; e.g., "I bulled the rat."

Burg (or Burgh) - Town, City; e.g., "He knows every two-bit toker in the burg."

C - Roman numeral for 100; e.g., "He had a C-Note."

Clam - To keep your mouth shut; e.g., "The muscle blows or I'll clam."

Copped - Obtained; e.g., "She copped the junk."

Dose - To take drugs; e.g., "He dosed off the bad junk and it laid him out."

Duck Soup - Easy pickings.

Gat - Gun.

Gum - To mess things up; e.g., "Bulls would only gum it."

Heel - To walk away from (and show your heels to); e.g., "I'm not heeling you to hook you."

Hook - Raise interest or get involved; e.g. "I'm not heeling to hook you."

Hop/Jake/Junk - Drugs. Back when noir films were more popular, (1940s-50s); hop is often used to reference marijuana and "hophead" is someone who smokes a lot of pot.

Knives in my eyes - a splitting headache; e.g., "I've got knives in my eyes. I'm going home sick."

Lap Dog - A lap dog is defined as a dog that is small enough to be held in the arms or lay comfortably on a person's lap. The term is also sometimes used to describe a person who is very easily controlled, such as a yes man. In the case of Brick both definitions are cleverly combined. If you recall the scene where we first meet Kara, she has a freshman boys head in her lap, who springs to her command of "run and get my purse."

On the Nail - immediately; e.g., "He wants cash on the nail."

Pick - A ride in a car (as in "pick-up"); e.g., "Did she get a pick?"

Raise - To get in touch with; e.g., "You couldn't raise em?" This is also used cleverly when Brain asks Brendan, "You couldn't raise her?" referring to Emily whom he could neither contact nor raise, as in raise from the dead.

Reef Worm - A stoner (reefer).

Scape - A patsy to take the blame (scapegoat/ fall guy).

Scraped - Begged off of, cadged from; e.g., "Ask any dope rat where their junk sprang and they'll say they scraped it off [name]...."

Shamus - A private detective.

Shine - To wield (as with a weapon); e.g., "He shines a blade."

Showing Your Ace - Obviously a card reference. An ace is the highest playing card, meaning 'high-quality. When Brendan strips Kara and says "I'm showing your ace," he is saying that Kara's most valuable asset is her beauty, which she uses to manipulate people with (e.g. lap dogs, Dode, etc). Not to mention, ace sounds similar to ass, something else of hers he shows off.

Specks - Eyes or Eyeglasses (spectacles); e.g., "Keep your specks peeled."

Sprang - Originated; e.g., "His gat sprang from Tugger's gang."

Squawk - To give up or snitch on. Or more apt to this, a stool pigeon.

Take A Powder - To slip away; e.g., "Why'd you take a powder the other night?"

Yegg - A criminal.

The majority of the film's special effects were cheaply and efficiently produced using practical and in-camera effects. Early in the film, for example, Emilie de Ravin walks toward the camera out of a tunnel as a garbage bag floats downstream and engulfs the camera, transitioning over to Joseph Gordon-Levitt back in his character's bedroom. To achieve this, the desired effect was filmed in reverse order. The garbage bag began over the camera and was pulled away during filming, as de Ravin walked backwards into the tunnel. This footage was then cut to a scene in which a garbage bag was simply pulled over Gordon-Levitt's head.

Slowly filming a car driving in reverse, then playing the footage backwards at a higher speed gives the illusion of a car quickly approaching as the camera darts in front of it stylishly. Clever fades give the impression of time changes while quick jump cuts add tension to a scene in which the protagonist wakes up after passing out.

The smoke effect that occurs from the gun shot that kills Dode was serendipitous, a fortunate accident if you will. The smoke that we see is actually from the excess compressed air that shot the red liquid (supposed to be blood) out. It wasn't originally supposed to happen, but fortunately turned out to be an excellent effect.

For the Region 1 DVD: Go to Special Features, highlight Deleted and Extended Scenes, press left twice to highlight the tunnel note (looks like an A), and then select to watch "Origami Master", a short film shot by Rian Johnson in his high school days.

For the Region 2 DVD: Go to Special Features, go to the second page of the Deleted and Extended Scenes, wait for the menu to loop once (should take 15 seconds) and an icon of glasses will appear in the corner of the screen, click them.

Brick premiered in the United States on March 31, 2006 in two theaters and a select few in the UK, and grossed $2.07 million in North America and a total of $3.9 million worldwide. Brick received mostly positive reviews and currently has a 78% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It is ranked #35 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the "50 Best High School Movies."

A List of Awards Brick Won:

Sundance Film Festival: Special Jury Prize: Dramatic, for Originality of Vision

Chicago Film Critics Association Awards: Most Promising Director (Rian Jonhnson)

San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards: Best Original Screenplay

Festival de Cine de Sitges: Citizen Kane Award for Best Directorial Revelation

Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards: Best Overlooked Film

Some viewers have inquired into what the mark on Tugs forehead is. It has sometimes been referred to as a strand of hair hanging down from under his hat, but its actually a scar. There's also a passage in the original novella where Tug talks about how he got the scar...

"By eight that night the rain had thinned into a marine mist. I trotted down a narrow sandy path and out onto the beach. A bonfire blazed a few hundred yards away. Stuffing my hands in my pockets I trudged towards it, but was only halfway there when I came upon two boys. One was rattling off a story full steam, shadowboxing for emphasis. It was Tugger."

"...takes me for a schmoe that I'm gonna back off, so I take the first guy with a belt below the belt, which, since I'm outnumbered, so the second and third guys pin me but I flip one over onto the other one, peg this one into the ground with his buddy, then I just kick hell for leather and I figure one left, the gig's duck soup, but no this guy whips around and what's he got a pole with a thing on the end you put paint rollers on, but there aint a paint roller, so it's just this metal thing he whips and I just you know fall back and kick his legs out then rub him up, but I get walking away and whoa, it's raining or what, no it's blood, I got sliced on the face. Here. So that's what that is. No big deal."

"Shuck, man." said the other in admiration, shaking his head. Tug lit a joint. The warm glow gleamed off the triangular SCAR on his face."

If you pay attention, you see a match being sparked outside the Halloween In January party. For those wondering who that was, it was The Pin. In the original novella there is actually a passage where Brendan runs outside the mansion to follow Laura where this is clarified. Also, later on when Brendan goes to The Pin's house to set up the final meeting between him and Tug, we see The Pin strike a match to light his cigarette.

Laura ended up with the brick after double crossing everyone and stealing it. She stole the brick from the Pin's home before the sit down at his house, stashed it in her locker at school and returning to Tug's house, where she attended to Brendan prior to the meeting. From behind the scenes, she fueled the rivalry between The Pin and Tug's crew. She set them up to make the Pin believe that Tug only agreed to come to his house not to settle differences, but to steal the brick, thus leading them both into what Brendan describe as a slaughterhouse.

At the end, Laura grades Brendan's tale, telling him "That's most of it. Nine out of ten." In addition to the facts that Laura does tell Brendon, the less than perfect score refers to the that fact that his story is not complete. She indicates that Emily had been pregnant for 3 months with his baby.

Although it does not say specifically, it is revealed that Brendan was indeed the father. This is revealed when Laura tells Brendan that Emily said she did not want to keep the baby because she did not love the father anymore. Laura says Emily came to her three months ago when she became pregnant. Three months ago was before she was with Dode or Tug, meaning that it was Brendan's baby all along.

Who killed Emily?

We are told that Tug killed Emily because he thought that he was the father of the baby she was having. It was Laura's idea that Emily tell Tug it was his baby to soften him up, but Laura was counting on Tug to kill or injure her. We find out that it was Tug who killed Emily after the scene with Dode, the Pin, Brendan and Tug at the tunnel. Dode tries to tell The Pin that he believed it was Brendan who killed Emily because he thought she was having Dode's baby. Tug kills Dode, thinking he is about to reveal the true identity of the murderer: himself.

Brendan has coughing fits throughout the film, due to internal bleeding from all the blows he endures during the beginning of the film (from Brad and Tug mostly). Also, he's functioning on very little sleep, which leads to his collapse in the tunnel.

What was Kara's role?

Kara is a manipulator, and as with her lap dogs, uses her looks to get over on people. In the case of the film's plot, she convinces Dode to sell his information to The Pin that Brendan is responsible for Emily's death (based solely on the fact he saw Brendan move the body). It isn't clear why Kara gets him to do this in the film, but in the original novella it seems to be strictly for the money, as after Dode dies she still tries to blackmail Brendan for it.

Quote from the director himself...

"It started with the notion of doing a detective movie. And for me, that was really inspired by Dashiell Hammett. I went through a period where I got really into his books, which I initially found through the Coen brothers' Miller's Crossing. That was one of my favorite films. And I read an interview with them where they cited him as their main reference. But when I kind of discovered Red Harvest, and read The Maltese Falcon and The Glass Key, there was this interesting thing where you think you know something, and then you discover its source. You discover it anew in some way. I have obviously grown up watching detective movies and film noir, and some of my favorite films are noirs. Huston's version of The Maltese Falcon is, for me, one of the most entertaining films ever made. But when I hit those books and experienced that world, there was something about it that was so vibrant and so alive. Really, just the world that Hammett created really inspired me and made me think, "God, I want to try and capture some of this. I want to try to do one of these."

"The high-school aspect kind of happened in two phases. At first, it was just a decision to put it in a different setting, to try to capture some of that unexpectedness that I experienced reading those books. I think at this point, we're also familiar with the visual cues from film noir. I felt just putting it in a different setting visually might help us to not lean on our preconceptions of the genre so much, and have to re-examine the elements of it, and hopefully get hit by them in an unexpected direction. But then once I started working with it, one of the real joys of it was how, in many strange ways, it ended up becoming very much about the experience of being a teenager for me."

Why was Brendan knifed?

As revealed at the end by Brain, Brad Brammish hired somebody to stab Brendan as revenge for beating him up in front of his friends. It was an ego/grudge thing, and not something that pertained to the rest of the plot; a red herring of sorts.

It can be argued both ways. She clearly takes advantage of people, but there reason to believe that she did care about Brendon since she did tell him to stay away from the sit down since she knew it would likely turn ugly if it was discovered that she stole the brick, and she states that she does admire Brendan for what he is doing for Emily, as she does not know anyone who would do something like that for her. She has a dark side, but she also knows that he does too, which she makes clear at the end of the film. Both characters are smart and lonely, and perhaps these combination of qualities makes him attractive to her.

On the other hand, she is manipulative to most characters in the film, including Brendan at times, and in the end, it is hard to know when she is being deceptive or not. She is very intelligent, but not trust worthy, even when she is telling the truth.

The original script has a reference that may indicate that she may have had genuine feelings for him. Here's a passage from the original script...

Laura: Don't go tonight.

Brendan: I've got to make sure it plays out smooth.

Laura: It'll play however it plays without you there.

Brendan: I've got to make sure.

Laura: Why?

Brendan: 'Cause if there's war, I'm in it too.

Laura: Well let's just, I mean why not just run away. Go somewhere. I've got a car.

Brendan: *Gives Laura a wry look*

Laura: I've got an aunt in New Orleans, she wouldn't care.

Brendan: *Grins*

Laura: Yeah, it's a stupid thing, but think about it, why not? What, school? C'mon. Family?

Brendan: All right, stop.


It could be read it as her just trying to get him out the way, but New Orleans? There might be something else to it. Also, at the end of the novella, Laura says, "I loved you" to Brendan.

A lot of people think this implies Laura and Brendan had sex, but according to director Rian Johnson, the shot was originally sequenced after they had made out on the bed, thus they did not.

Page last updated by Rotten_Mangoes, 1 year ago
Top 5 Contributors: juveniledelinquentk, Azero18, fearless_flyer, akitunde, triso

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